Let's get one thing straight at the outset: Christopher Bollyn is not an anti-Semite. How do we know this? Because he says so. He also says many other things. You be the judge.

Bollyn is a self-proclaimed "journalist" who spoke over the weekend at the Medford and Ashland libraries. He is is what is known as a "9/11 truther" — one who disputes the official account of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Like many "truthers," Bollyn argues that the collapse of the World Trade Center towers did not occur as the result of jet airliners crashing into them, but by controlled demolition, deliberately staged by shadowy conspirators.

But Bollyn takes the "controlled demolition" theory a step further than most. In his telling, it wasn't the U.S. government that carried out the plot. It was the Jews.

Yes, the international Zionist conspiracy. You may have heard of it. According to Bollyn, the 9/11 attacks were a "false flag" operation pulled off by the Zionists to get the United States to declare war on Islamic terror on Israel's behalf.

In his book, Bollyn writes, "The true culprits of this heinous crime are clearly being protected by a gang of like-minded Jewish Zionists in the highest positions of the U.S. government ...”

Bollyn has every right to spout his theories to anyone who will listen. Allowing poisonous speech is the price we pay for free expression. But the beauty of the First Amendment is that it does not require anyone to listen.